The Pulitzer Prize for History has been awarded since 1917 for a distinguished book upon the history of the United States. Many history books have also been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction and Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography. Two people have won the Pulitzer Prize for History twice; Margaret Leech, for Reveille in Washington, 1860-1865 in 1941 and In the Days of McKinley in 1960, and Bernard Bailyn, for The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1968) and Voyagers to the West: A Passage in the Peopling of America on the Eve of the Revolution (1987).
A list chosen by readers was published separately by Modern Library in 1999. With close to 200,000 votes,  The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand was selected as the best non-fiction book. Two other titles related to Rand – Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand and Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life – were #3 and #6, respectively. The Reader's Poll has been cited by Harry Binswanger , a longtime associate of Rand and promoter of her work, as representative of "the clash between the intellectual establishment and the American people."  However, Jesse Walker , writing in Reason magazine, has observed that the Reader's Poll is an example of the unreliability of internet polls and their tendency to overemphasize the opinions of small but especially devoted groups. 
In 2001 Atwan and Joyce Carol Oates took on the daunting task of tracing that ever-shifting process through the previous 100 years for The Best American Essays of the Century . Recently Atwan returned with a more focused selection for Publishers Weekly : "The Top 10 Essays Since 1950." To pare it all down to such a small number, Atwan decided to reserve the "New Journalism" category, with its many memorable works by Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese, Michael Herr and others, for some future list. He also made a point of selecting the best essays , as opposed to examples from the best essayists. "A list of the top ten essayists since 1950 would feature some different writers."